Coronavirus Update: Chancellor Announces Financial Aid for Self-Employed and Freelancers

March 26th 2020

This afternoon, UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the government’s financial aid plan for the self-employed and freelancers who are suffering financially as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Self-employed workers will be able to apply for a grant worth 80% of their average monthly profits over the last three years, up to £2,500 a month, to help them cope. The money will be paid in a single lump sum, but will not begin to arrive until the start of June at the earliest.

Rishi Sunak told the self-employed: “You have not been forgotten.”

Key details of the Chancellor’s announcement include the following:

  • Self-employed people will be able to apply for a grant worth 80% of their average monthly profits over the last three years, up to £2,500 a month.
  • At least half their income needs to have come from self-employment as registered on the 2018-19 tax return filed in January – anyone who missed the filing deadline has four weeks from now to get it done and still qualify.
  • The scheme is open to those who earn under £50,000 a year – up to 3.8 million of the 5 million people registered as self-employed.
  • Unlike the employee scheme, the self-employed can continue to work as they receive support.
  • The money, backdated to March, will arrive directly into people’s banks accounts from HMRC, but not until June.
  • The grants will be taxable, and will need to be declared on tax returns by January 2022.
  • Company owners who pay themselves a dividend are not covered.

 

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